Tea Party, Late Roman Empire Edition

From The Inheritance of Rome by Chris Wickham, p. 35:

But given the weight of tax, and the endemic injustice that marked the Roman system, it is not surprising that corruption should focus on it. Social critics, more numerous as the empire went Christian and and a radical fringe of moralists gained a voice, very frequently stress fiscal oppression in their invective; only judicial corruption and sexual behaviour were as prominent. This would last as long as the empire.

Something to think about if you were wondering how long certain current conservative concerns, mixed with Christian religion, have been and will be with us.

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About John Mansfield

Mansfield in the desertA third-generation southern Nevadan, I have lived in exile most of my life in such places as Los Alamos, Baltimore, Los Angeles, the western suburbs of Detroit, and currently the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. I work as a fluid dynamics engineer. I was baptized at age twelve in the font of the Las Vegas Nevada Central Stake Center, and on my nineteenth birthday I received the endowment in the St. George Temple. I served as a missionary mostly in the Patagonia of Argentina from 1985 to 1987. My true calling in the Church seems to be working with Cub Scouts, whom I have served in different capacities in four states most years since 1992. (My oldest boy turned eight in 2004.) I also currently teach Sunday School to the thirteen-year-olds. I hold degrees from two universities named for men who died in the 1870s, the Brigham Young University and the Johns Hopkins University. My wife is Elizabeth Pack Mansfield, who comes from New Mexico's north central mountains and studied molecular biology at the same two schools I attended. We have four sons, whose care and admonition, along with care of my aged father, require much of Elizabeth's time. She currently serves the Church as Mia-Maid advisor, ward music chairman, and choir director, and plays violin whenever she can. One day, I would like to make shoes.

3 thoughts on “Tea Party, Late Roman Empire Edition

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention » Tax Party, Late Roman Empire Edition The Millennial Star -- Topsy.com

  2. Edward Gibbon emphasized the loss of civic virtue and moral decay, including the decline in marriage and the acceptance of homosexuality, but he also saw a large central government and high taxation as causes of Rome’s decline.

    Rostovtzeff and Mises attributed the decline to the debasement of currency and inflation which led to price controls and then to shortages.

    Toynbee saw the waste of resources, and a “plunder economy” (extracting tribute from conquered lands) as causes of the decline, when there were no lands to plunder. He also thought the prevalence of slave labor precluded the development of a middle class with sufficient purchasing power to sustain the Empire.

    How many of these causes do we see in our country today?

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